About this Show

Fareed Zakaria GPS

Beyond the Manhunts How to Stop Terror News/Business. (2013) An in-depth look into America's war on terrorists in the homeland and abroad.

NETWORK
CNN

DURATION
01:01:00

RATING

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Comcast Cable

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Channel v759

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mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
1920

PIXEL HEIGHT
1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Cia 17, United States 13, Boston 11, Pakistan 6, Yemen 6, America 5, Michael Hayden 5, Osama Bin 5, Leon Panetta 5, U.s. 5, Al Qaeda 4, Us 4, Somalia 4, Bergen 3, Mali 3, Schwab Bank 3, Robert Grenier 3, Fareed 3, Cindy 3, Panetta 2,
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  CNN    Fareed Zakaria GPS    Beyond the Manhunts How to Stop Terror  News/Business.   
   (2013) An in-depth look into America's war on terrorists in the...  

    May 12, 2013
    10:00 - 11:00am PDT  

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welcome to a special edition of gps "beyond the manhunt: how to stop terror." i'm fareed zakaria . >> the united states has conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden. >> just two years ago that navy s.e.a.l.s in pakistan spoke the words geronimo and that meant osama bin laden was finally dead. today the fight continues. as we saw on boyleston street in boston. stepping back from the crisis, we also need to ask larger questions about the state of our security. what is the threat out there and are we prepared for it? >> he intended to use the
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remaining explosives that he had and detonate them in times square. >> the fight today is at home and abroad. >> we have seen that threat become geographically dispersed. >> against al qaeda's core, its affiliates and lone adherents, known and unknown, in all corners of the globe. during this hour, we will explore some of the toughest challenges facing our intelligence community and our country. we will talk to people who have spent decades in the shadows and on the front lines surveying and tackling some of the nation's gravest threats and anticipating the next ones. we will examine the state of al qaeda today, how big of a threat is it? >> my experience was whenever you declare them dead, you could be wrong. >> we look at the cia's not so secret assassination program. >> we're in a war. and war is hell.
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>> and enhanced interrogations. did they lead to osama bin laden? are our current interrogation tactics working? >> the site i visited was probably the grimmest place i've ever been. >> then, tracking terror. how do intelligence officials target a lone wolf? >> there's a whole bunch of things, certainly technically possible but do you really want your government doing that? >> shut up. >> and it's not just a movie. two of the actual women in the hunt for bin laden take us inside the cia. >> when you think of 007, you know, you don't think of jane bond, you think of james bond. and, last, my own thoughts on confronting terror today.
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defining the enemy and understanding the threat. what does al qaeda look like today? it's been called al qaeda 2.0. a more decentralized organization than the one that attacked us on september 11th, 2001. loosely made up of affiliates and hangers on like al qaeda and and the islamic -- allocate ka and the peninsula. al shabaab, but who are these smaller organizations? should we be concerned about them here at home? and what about the lone terrorist living in the west, quietly plotting another boston bombing. cnn national cnn analyst peter bergen oversaw the first television interview with osama bin laden in 1997. his book "manhunt" is the subject of a new hbo documentary. what do you think is the state of al qaeda today?
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>> the best onset of that question is what osama bin laden's own assessment of what it was. before he died, he wrote a letter basically outlining how much the drones had impacted his group. he was very aware that the al qaeda brand was in deep trouble. he was advising other groups not to adopt the al qaeda brand because it would be bad for fund-raising and attract a lot of negative attention. that's osama bin laden's assessment and i think that's a pretty accurate one. >> former secretary of defense leon panetta oversaw the campaigns against al qaeda in pakistan's tribal areas known as the fatah. >> i honestly believe that we are safer since 9/11. largely because of what we've been able to do going after their core leadership in the fattah. when i first came into government, there were four key people that were largely running
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al qaeda. today three of them are dead and one is in deep hiding. not to mention a number of other members of what we were often called the top 20 leadership. many of them have been, have been hit, as well. >> former cia analyst cindy who spent a career tracking terror said despite the virtual decapitation of al qaeda's leadership, don't count the group out. >> i get a little nervous when people say it's over, we don't have to worry about that any more because al qaeda always has several tracks going at the same time. my experience was whenever you declare them dead, they prove you wrong. so, i don't want to say they're not hurt. they're not in trouble. but it's too early to let our guard down. >> panetta agrees. he's worried about two aspects of al qaeda 2.0. first -- >> i think what we do have to worry about is what i called kind of metastasized al qaeda that has moved into other areas.
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yemen and in somalia and mali. we have to continue to worry about al qaeda being able to establish a foothold in one of these countries. and, therefore, establishing a base from which to attack the united states or europe. >> former cia counterterrorism chief robert grenier says north africa isn't a concern. immediately. when you look at north africa, do you think this is the next place to worry about, or do you think that's a largely a local struggle? >> it's a local struggle and we need to be somewhat concerned about it but i think we have to be very careful, lest we nationalize a local security concern. >> how dangerous are those franchise operations we think of mali and we think of somalia? >> i think we have to be very careful because in all of these geographies that you mentioned, yes, there are a small number of international terrorists properly so-called and people
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that we do have to worry about. but for the most part, the people that occupy this ungoverned space are local people and have their own local concerns. >> but if the al qaeda affiliates in those areas aren't yet grand threats, peter bergen says there's an offshoot we do need to keep close tabs on in a surprising place. >> in syria, fareed was saying, you know, a very interesting phenomenon the most effective fighting force against assad is an al qaeda organization. they are doing something al qaeda groups have never done before. large amounts of a bread to a very desperate population. i think this is really a new phenomenon where you have a hezbollah-like militia operating in a political manner, much like al qaeda affiliates. how that will play out, you know, we'll see. >> what's already begun to play
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out, as we saw in boston, is the more immediate, bigger threat to the homeland. leon panetta explains what keeps him up at night. >> what concerns us i think in the last few years, other approaches to creating terror. one of those came from allah i can. . >> /* >> known to many as the bin laden of the internet. he is believed to have started in "inspire" magazine. online propaganda outfit filled with articles in how to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom. >> he was basically urging people anywhere, anyhow, do what you can to be able to go into the united states and attack the country. i think that kind of inspiration
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of trying to get people to motivated in some way to either self-radicalize or do something that similar to what we saw in boston. i think that remains a serious concern. >> michael hayden is the former director of the national security agency and the cia. when you look at boston. does that look to you like the new face of terror? >> i really do think that is the case. i mean, there's a real sense that doctrinally al qaeda wants the mass casualty attack against the iconic target, but they can't do that. and now what you've got are these one offs, very likely self-radicalized individuals coming at us. i'm fond of saying because of our success -- and this is a measure of success. i'm fond of saying future attacks against our homeland will be less organized, less likely to succeed. less lethal if they do succeed
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but more numerous. unfortunately that's been bourn out. >> we will ask our experts how to stop the next boston. but first up, hitting al qaeda overseas. are we on target with killing terrorists with drones? hmm, it says here that cheerios helps lower cholesterol as part of a heart healthy diet. that's true. ...but you still have to go to the gym. ♪ the one and only, cheerios ♪ the one and only, cheerios geico and we could help youo save on boat and motorcycle insurance too. other insurance companies are green with envy. oh, no, no, no...i'm sorry, but this is all wrong? i would never say that. writer: well what would you say? gecko: well i'd probably emphasize the savings.
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[ female announcer ] for everything your face has to face. face it with puffs ultra soft & strong. puffs has soft, air-fluffed pillows that are dermatologist tested to be gentle on your skin. face every day with puffs softness. it has been called the shadow war. a war waged not with boots on the ground but with eyes in the skies. unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, have flown stealth missions in yemen, achg, pakistan and somalia. some guided with laser missiles. the cia and defense department each runs its own drone program with its own set of rules. the cia's program is so highly classified that it is barely acknowledged by the white house.
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between 2004 and 2013, the new america foundation puts the total stimed number of strikes in pakistan and yemen at 428 with 49 under president bush and 379 under president obama. that's almost eight times as many strikes under the obama administration. they stimthe number of militants killed to be between 1,982 and 3251. the number of civilians between 276 and 368. and unknown casualties between 200 and 330. the "new york times" national security correspondent says to understand the program today you have to start at the beginning. >> after 9/11, you see a big change that takes place at the cia.
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>> after 9/11, a week, a week after 9/11, president bush gives the cia authority to basically go around the world and capture or kill al qaeda operatives. and this is the lethal authority that the cia hadn't had for decades. >> what is the legality of the drone program? we had president ford's executive order that tells the cia not to do this kind of thing. we have president carter's executive order against assassination and, yet, we have a drone program that seems to assassinate people. >> so, the legal authorities given to the cia and by the justice department under, you know, still classified memos are that the cia can carry out these drone strikes because they're "assassinations on a global battlefield." going after military targets. so, you assassinate political leaders but kill soldiers on a battlefield. >> the problem is, how do you make sure you only kill soldiers on the battlefield? leon panetta the cia director from 2009 to 2011 says after an
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al qaeda target list had been vetted, the decision was ultimately his to take the shot. >> at the time that i was director of the cia, we made very clear that if there were any women and children in the shot, we were not to take it. and that we were to only go after those that we knew were identified as targets and, therefore, enemies of the united states. is there some collateral when you're hitting a particular target and you're not sure of the situation, especially when you're going after compounds? sure. there may have been some collateral. but it was minimal. >> former cia counterterrorism chief robert grenier says in recent years that target list has expanded. fair to say that it started and when it was being run by you was more narrow, more surgical and more directed against international terrorists, terrorists of global reach and
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morphed into something that became a much more frequently used weapon for just all the bad guys in the region? >> i think that's a fair way to characterize the evolution over time. it's very easy when you get out on that slippery slope to say, look, here, we shouldn't just be focusing only on the international terrorists, what about the people supporting them? when we take the next step and start attacking them as an affiliated group, as if they were international terrorists themselves, we're inviting a lot of trouble. >> and it's trouble that peter berger of the new american foundation and cnn has seen firsthand on the ground in pakistan. >> because we have the technology and a tactic that works, the temptation to use it repeatedly. in 2010 there are 122 drone strikes. it's -- there are not 122 leaders of al qaeda in the world. the cost of that just angering deeply the fifth largest country in the world in terms of
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population in 2015, i think that's a pretty high cost to pay. >> one recent target in yemen hit the village where a former u.s. exchange student grew up. he says the strike target was a popular and trusted figure in the village. he says he did not know that he was connected with al qaeda. >> it angered people there. you don't come regardless of what happening in this area. you don't come explode a bomb and go away as if nothing happens. >> drone strikes in yemen, he says have become recruiting tools for al qaeda which sometimes offers compensation to people whose houses have been hit. >> nothing has ever empowered al qaeda in yemen as much as the strike drones. >> general michael hayden is the former director of the cia.
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is the drone program out of control? >> i don't think so. it comes back to one of the circumstances in which you find yourself. targeted killings have enabled us to bring al qaeda prime, al qaeda main along the afghan/pakistan border to the point of destruction. i can think of almost nothing that has attributed more to the safety of the united states than what we have been able to do to take senior al qaeda leadership off the battlefield. >> reporter: even if hayden thinks the tactic works, he said the government needs to change the way they deal with it. for the domestic audience, he says the obama administration needs to do something spies hate to do -- talk publicly about what they are up to. the issue is political sustainability. my advice is to be as transparent as you can be. even perhaps risking a little bit of operational effectiveness. otherwise, this program, which i
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would describe as being very successful will have an off and on switch. it will be effective by american elections rather than being a program that most of america supports. later in the show how to defend against the next boston-like attack. but coming up next, should the united states be in the business of torture? the useful information. what if this is a ticking time bomb? we will find out when we come back. tdd: 1-800-345-2550 searching for a bank designed for investors like you? tdd: 1-800-345-2550 schwab bank was built with tdd: 1-800-345-2550 all the value and convenience investors want. tdd: 1-800-345-2550 like no atm fees, worldwide. tdd: 1-800-345-2550 and no nuisance fees. tdd: 1-800-345-2550 plus deposit checks with mobile deposit, tdd: 1-800-345-2550 and manage your cash and investments tdd: 1-800-345-2550 with schwab's mobile app. tdd: 1-800-345-2550 no wonder schwab bank has grown to over 70 billion in assets. tdd: 1-800-345-2550 so if you're looking for a bank that's in your corner, tdd: 1-800-345-2550 not just on the corner, tdd: 1-800-345-2550 call, click or visit to start banking with schwab bank today.
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welcome back to our gps special, "beyond the manhunt." it's called the ticking time bomb scenario. a terrorist is in your custody. he knows about a bomb. it could go off at any minute. to what lengths would you do find out where and when? [ sirens ] >> shortly after 9/11, that was the question that emerged as we wrestled with the palpable fear of the unknown. where was bin laden? was there another attack coming?
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in 2002, the justice department quietly approved the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, like water boarding, and extreme sleep depp vags. >> the yeas are 93. the nays are zero. >> three years later, congress banned enhanced interrogations by the military. the cia could continue to use the techniques but it was a subject of much debate and uncertainty. >> i can say without exception or equivocation that the united states will not torture. >> reporter: then on his second day in office of 2009, president obama signed an executive order outlawing these coercive techniques. >> there we go. >>. [ applause ] >> all future interrogations by anyone in the u.s. government had to follow the strict guidelines of the army field manual. so the million dollar question -- did coercive techniques lead to osama bin laden? once again our intelligence
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experts weigh in. >> the black site that i visited was probably the grimmest place i've ever been. >> robert, a 27 year cia veteran ran the counterterrorism center from twoou 2004 to 2006. >> it is a grim business when you are, for understandable reasons, sequestering people who you believe have information, actionable information, which if you are able to acquire it will save lives. >> in your experience, looking at all of the information you got, does it work? is the use of coercive interrogation, which some people call torture a useful way to get information? for those group of hardened terrorists, against whom, you know, the normal sort of measures that you might encounter in a chicago precinct, for instance, simply did not work, simply were unavailing, we
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acquired a lot of very important intelligence. >> leon panetta was in charge the day that osama bin laden was killed. >> i often get criticized for saying this, but it's a fact that we got information. even though you may not like the approach that was used. the fact is it was information. >> the team that really carried out the information. >> but panetta says the significance of the information was far from cut and dry. >> was it essential to finding bin laden? i'm not sure. i don't think so. i think there were other bits of intelligence that we could have put together the same pattern that we needed in order to track bin laden. but, you know, was there information that came from those interrogations? yes, there was. >> reporter: one of the people sifting through that intelligence was cia analyst cindy store. >> do you think the use of
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torture was important in getting osama bin laden? >> i i have to say that i chose not to be involved in the program from the beginning. so i don't have a lot of knowledge about what was done and what came out of it. >> what do you mean, chose not to be involved. how could you do that? >> i just said i wasn't going to. that was it. i saw what was happening right after 9/11 and i said i won't go and they tried to get me to talk to detainees and i didn't do it. i had to talk to detainees of course. a lot of times people didn't put it in to context of the larger organization and would say so and so said this so it should be true than is a danger. >> it undermines what the united states is about. we have said to the enemy what we believe is dear can in fact be sacrificed because we are scared to death of them. i think that's exactly the wrong message to send. we're strong. we're proud of what we have. we can make our system work.
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i think we can balance security and freedoms. that's what this society is all about. >> the interrogation process is a, a very human process. >> he says debates over enhanced methods, largely miss the point n. the end, he believes, the mo most intrigue ral part of the proeg has nothing to do with pain. >> if you are a suspected terrorist, perhaps a known terrorist who's detained and you know that you -- that in any given instance it's unlikely that you can lie to me with impunity. that is a very powerful tool. >> when the interrogator is i believe to signal to the prisoner, i know these pieces of information, so if you try to lie to me i will know you are lying to me. that's the most powerful. >> it is. when the detainee says something and you shake your head and
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smile, and you say, my friend, do you think i've come all this way. you think i'm sitting here because i know so little? that can be a very powerful thing. >> michael hayden agrees but says we should be mindful of the circumstances. >> suppose you had a situation like the boston bombings, except this time caught one guy and he was able to talk and you thought this there was a ticking time bomb somewhere, would you believe in those circumstances torture was appropriate. >> torture is never appropriate. it is like asking do you think murder is appropriate? no. by definition torture and murder are wrong. now, would i attempt to question that individual beyond the normal practices of the massachusetts state police? perhaps. beyond the 19 techniques that are allowed in the army field manual, perhaps. but no one claims, for example,
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the army field manual exhausts the universe of lawful techniques. you need to keep your options available because you can't predict what circumstances you might find yourself in the fuchlt i had a phrase when i was the director of the national security agency. we're going to play inside the foul lines but there will be chalk dust on our cleats. >> go right up to the lines. >> exactly. because if i don't, fareed, what i am doing is protecting me and my agency, not america. >> when thinking through this issue, remember the u.s. government has mostly stopped using enhanced interrogations since 2006. and has completely stopped since january of 2009. since then, al qaeda has been battered intelligence has been gathered and acted on and major plots have been thwarted. so the question is can we tackle terrorism without torture? the answer seems to be we're
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...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. welcome back to our special. al qaeda may be battled but
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there is a new threat. one person or a small group, self radicalized and determined to kill. in other words, boston. the cia and fbi are, of course, working hard to stop the next would be bombers, but what exactly are they looking for? how do you track a shadow? someone harboring extremist tendencies quietly. someone who might turn violent but isn't yet? the former director of the cia, general michael hayden says the united states is continually calibrating the balance between freedom and security. >> i put my arm up and said this is what we are doing for you now in terms of security, the intelligence community, defense community. frankly we have made those attacks up here, the ones that are punishing and which we are fearful, the airliner plot over the atlantic. we have made them very, very unlikely. now we have these, these one off
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attacks like boston, like nigh jell asazcy, like the drive by shooting in little rock and i ask canned american audiences what do you want me to do with my hand? i can push it down a little bit. i don't know how much safety i will buy you but more safety but how much commerce, safety or convenience do you want me to squeeze for a marginal increase in safety? as a citizen, as an intelligence professional, i follow the guidance of the republican but as a citizen i'm thinking my hand is at the right place right now. i don't know that we need to do a whole lot more. now, the secret within that is that sooner or later some of this stuff is going to happen and we all have to recognize that there's going to be a margin of risk that we will have to live with now. >> so describe what it would mean to push that hand down. i mean you ran the national
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security agency, this super secret spy agency with many people believe is the largest budget, that has the ability to do -- it does all of the technical, technological data gathering. could you eavesdrop on conversations on a much grander scale than you are doing? >> you know, technology available now, of course you could be more invasive. and truth in advertising here, fareed, i was the one that installed the terrorist surveillance program that caused so much controversy during the bush administration. >> which is about eavesdropping on phone conversation. >> international calls, one may be in the united states that we had reason to believe maybe affiliated with al qaeda. which sounds like a good description for worrying about the boston kind of threat. but even there we recognized we had to be very careful, very selective. this couldn't be this broad net
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over all of america's conversations. even there it was very, very targeted. >> i asked a former fbi special agent. so you look at something like "inspire" magazine, al qaeda publication of sorts on the web that contained within it the instructions of how to build these pressure cooker bombs. should the united states government be trying to shut down these kinds of websites, and is it feasible? >> i think it's not the issue of feasibility. you know, it's very hard to regulate the internet. we have thousands and thousands of websites that promote islamic extremism. i think what we need to do is monitor these sites an the people who basically spend a lot of time on these sites and monitor their travel pattern and their communications. let's actually put this travel pattern, putting their cyberfootprint pattern and put them together. and create a profile, a threat
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profile about that specific individual. >> law enforcement would need to do the almost impossible, sort out who are the radical muslims, not prone to violence and those who could turn in to terrorists. robert grenier is a former senior counterterrorism chief. >> it is a very difficult thing to detect when an individual, sm small group of people are self radicalizing. from going from views that you and i may consider radical or realistic to then make the decision that i'm going to engage -- i'm going to act on this and i'm going to act violently on this. that is a discreet step a subtle thing and often only apparent in ha hindsight. our greatest allies are the communities in which they live. one of the great challenges for us as a society and particularly for law enforcement, is to have
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sort of this relationship with immigrant communities, muslim communities in the u.s. which conveys to them that we are not stigmatizing you, as a community. that we want to work with you as partners. we are all in this together. >> leon panetta is a former director of the cia. >> we have learned a lot since 9/11 on basically how to try to get ahead of this. what we have seen is that you absolutely have to develop good intelligence. that intelligence is the key here because if you have intelligence, then that's -- that's what can really target you towards where those threats are. >> i think it can be done. after all, if you look at the last ten or 11 years since 9/11, we have been able to get ahead
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of potential attacks. we have been able to prevent attacks where we knew something like this was happening. so the record is pretty good. we just cannot let up. we have to continue to be vigilant. coming up next, putting together the special i couldn't help but notice how many women were critical in the intelligence hunt for bin laden. next, we ask a somewhat different question -- are women better at this game than men? when we come back. ó? ??çó
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doesn't know noe about what happened. >> sounds like the main character maya, a cia operative in the movie zero dark thirtity, right? >> he will hold details and
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probably bin laden. >> and in real life turns out many of the officers in the hunt for bin laden were women. the person who wrote the first complete assessment of bin laden, a woman, the first to identify allocate in a briefing to the president, a woman. it got me wondering, do women make better spice es or analyst than men? are they more suited for this kind of work? i put the question to the former cia director michael hayden. do you think there is significance to the fact that so many people who hunted down bill bin laden were woman. >> i will confirm, you are right. this is a band of sisters that led this analytical hunt. two were jennifer matthews was there and elizabeth hanson. both had briefed me about the hunt for bin laden. they were phenomenal. they were obsessed. they were focused.
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>> somebody said to me there are all of those macho guys out there but you wouldn't want these women after you because they are relentless. >> they were absolutely relentless. this is a decades-long hunt and for these women, longer than a decade. these people were hunting bin laden before hunting bin laden was cool and popular. they were back in the day, prior to 9/11 and in fact, opening line from homeland -- >> missed something once before. >> where she says i missed something that day. i think a lot of people at the agency, including these folks were animated by the fact that if that even had taken place and now they wanted to set things right. they were really focused on this, energy beyond description. >> for the real scoop, who better to ask than former cia counterterrorism officials. nada was a targeter of the leader of al qaeda in iraq and
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cindy was one of the first analysts to focus on bin laden. >> do you think there is something that women bring to this kind of work that is helpful? ? i document women tend to do it better. even the men i worked with who were trying to do a good job of it, very few and far between. >> let me make a crude generalization. women are more patient. they are better at recognizing patterns that are slightly complex. men are, eager to shoot first and ask questions later. does that seem and sound a little familiar? >> i think it does but i also think there is something to women having protection mechanism. you can attribute it to a maternal instinct but i think there is something to rallying the troops to protect what we know and find sacred versus i think men do nominate the offensive position. where we take up the defensive position. >> you said something about --
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you think there are certain advantages women have in terms of getting people to talk to you right? >> i do female case officers have an advantage. i think they can elicit information in a different way than men. they are less threatening >> you know, i think the fast part of the fascination is when you think of 007, you don't think of jane bond, you think of james bond. so i think it's the surprise for a lot of people. >> you worked at the agency for a long time. >> yeah. >> was it difficult being a woman? you know, all the issues you hear about, you know, the sheryl sandburgs and ann marie slaughters of the world. what was it like for you working in a very male organization? >> i never felt any overtdiscrimination except in military issues. then the men would have, i think
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it's an instinctive reaction or programmed reaction and then you get them past them and it's okay. there would be that moment where you say, i know about this. i realize i'm a woman, but this tank -- >> let me ask you a couple questions about something that everybody wonders about. watching the movie "man hunt" the documentary, might have given people the impression that you were maya in "zero dark thirty." would that be accurate? >> that would not be accurate. i would never take that away from the people who were finding bin laden. i left the agency prior to them catching him. >> is there a maya? >> there were targeting officers and analysts involved in the hunt for bin laden, and i'm very proud of all of them. i think they did an amazing job. there were a handful of very dedicated people who were a part of that in addition to the
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people who built the initial intelligence line. >> but no single person? >> that, i can't comment on. >> so very cia-like response. >> of course, of course. >> up next, i'll give you my own thoughts about how to stop terror. ♪ ♪ (vo) purina cat chow. 50 years of feeding great relationships. [ female announcer ] for everything your face has to face. face it with puffs ultra soft & strong. puffs has soft, air-fluffed pillows that are dermatologist tested to be gentle on your skin. face every day with puffs softness.
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we've taken you on a journey to see the new face of terror. you've heard from the top most officials who have fought this battle.
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the women who tracked osama bin laden and those who actually interrogated suspected terrorists. i hope it's helped you understand the dangers we face and how we should respond to them. i thought i owed you my own conclusions based on what i've seen and heard. first, al qaeda. the group that planned and directed the embassy bombings in kenya and tanzania and then the attack on the american destroyer "uss cole" and then the world trade center is a shadow of its former self. second, it has become a franchise operation with groups around the world latching on to its name and cause. but there's a debate. you've heard it here. as to whether these groups in somalia, mali, yemen are local thugs or global terrorists. in my reading of them, local concerns seem paramount. even the taliban, after all, does not have global terrorist ambitions, but, instead, has always focused on its desire to
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control afghanistan. americans often forget that though we went to war in afghanistan, no afghan was involved in 9/11. nor in any other major terrorist plot against americans and europeans. turning local thugs into global terrorists could well prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. third, al qaeda was not crippled by magic, but through the hard work of counterterrorism by many governments across many regions. now, as we fight terrorism, let's think hard about collateral damage when we target a bad guy with a drone. fourth, the boston bombings have reminded us that the war on terror is one that has to be fought at home, as well. but how to find the next group of misfits who have no background with terrorists, who might get radicalized over the internet and who go from talking radicalism one day to plotting terror the next. we cannot identify every one of
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these perspective terrorists, no matter how well we do. but people in law enforcement agencies across the united states will tell you, the best intelligence about potential terrorists comes from their communities, which often means in these times, muslim communities, so we need eyes on the ground, friendly relationships with imams and other leaders and outreach to other parts of the community. if that sounds too soft, it's a proven method. most recently a few weeks ago a canadian plot to attack trains was thwarted with this kind of intelligence, provided by the local muslim community. the war on terror began as a grand enterprise involving major war. it seems to have evolved into police work. that is a measure of progress. a final point. not a thought, but some facts. the national counterterrorism center released its annual report last june. it showed that terrorist attacks
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worldwide had dropped by 12% from 2010 and were down 29% from 2007. the global terrorism index also released last year systematically ranks countries by levels of terrorist incidents. over the ten-year period it analyzed, 2002 to 2011, the region least likely to suffer from a terrorist attack was north america. the most comprehensive studies show that terrorism was declining in the united states, even in 2001. and it dropped even more sharply after 9/11. here's peter bergen, again, putting it in some perspective. >> since 9/11. 17 americans killed by jihadist terrorists in this country. in the united states. 300 americans die every year in their bathtubs. we don't have irrational fear of bathtub drownings.
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we shouldn't have an irrational fear of terrorism. i hope this special report has helped you think about the future of terrorism more rationally. thank you for watching. i'm fareed zakaria. hello, i'm allison kosk in for fredricka whitfield. happy mother's day and thanks for joining us. facing death threats after being wrongly link today a forifying crime, now you'll hear from the brothers of kidnapping suspect ariel castro in an exclusive interview with cnn. a break in the mysterious case of an 8-year-old girl found stabbed to death in her california home. investigators have arrested her 12-year-old brother. the stunning details straight ahead. >> prince harry is getting in on the action at the warrior games in colorado. we'll tellio what the veterans he hung out